The Government of Japan has committed $2.1 million, through UNICEF South Africa, to strengthen vaccine cold chain systems and to build capacity in promoting and rolling out vaccinations in South Africa.
The resources will go towards procuring additional cold chain equipment, to the training of frontline health workers on effective vaccine management and to strengthen technical capacity to further scale up COVID-19 and routine childhood vaccinations.
Recent research from the University of Johannesburg Human Sciences Research Council showed that 38% of unvaccinated adults, some 10 million people in South Africa, were favourable towards taking a COVID-19 vaccination. Not knowing where to go, difficulty getting to a vaccination site and cost were the top three reasons for not having taken the shot.
The funding from Japan will play a role in enabling UNICEF South Africa, working with National and Provincial Departments of Health, to target those 10 million people to ensure they can more easily access the COVID-19 shot.